Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Oct. 28)

Oct. 28, 2008

Kansas Football Press Conference

Oct. 28, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening remarks:

“Looking back, reviewing Saturday, we did not play well. Texas Tech outplayed us in just about every area of the game. We know that. We understand that. What we need to do this week is improve, put the loss behind us and move on and get ready for the game against our in-state rival, Kansas State.”

“Kansas State is a very improved team from the beginning of the year. They do a lot of good things on the offensive side of the ball. It all starts with their quarterback, Josh Freeman. He has really matured and he looks in command. He is probably doing a better job of looking for his second and third progressions than he has done in the past. He is throwing the ball with accuracy and he looks poised and confident. He is also their leading rusher at this point in time. He has a host of people who are playing well around him. Their wide receivers, (Brandon) Banks, (Aubrey) Quarles and Deon Murphy are all contributing. Their tight end, Jeron Mastrudhas, has made a lot of catches. Their offense can score points and they are very successful in the red zone.

On the defensive side they are tightening the belt more and more. The guy that jumps out is Ian Campbell at defensive end. He is a good pass rush guy and he is a good run stopper. He uses his hands and he has good quickness. There are a number of other guys that are playing well. Reggie Walker has been there a long time. They are also getting good play out of Courtney Herndon. On special teams they do all kinds of different things. They fake punts, block field goals, surprise on-side kicks. You name it and they do it on special teams. So we have to be really prepared on special teams for this game. It will be a challenge for us.”

On KSU offense:

“There are some elements of the spread offense in there. There are times when they play power football and there are times when they feature the quarterback carrying the football. They have their own little package and they play to their strengths.”

On the Wildcats’ greatest strength:

“They have improved in a lot of areas. Obviously their quarterback is a great strength for them. I think that they have some individuals who are strengths for them. I mentioned Ian Campbell, but Josh Freeman is the leader of the offense. The offense goes as he goes. When he goes well, the offense is going well.”

On the KU offensive line:

“We have made really good progress. When you consider where we were at on day one, we are much improved. Our players are communicating and they are more comfortable with each other. I think the young kids are starting to settle down and become more confident as they go along. There has been much improvement in that area.”

On the KU-KSU rivalry:

“This game has been played at times when both teams have had zero wins or one win a piece. The people in the state of Kansas still got excited about it because it was two Big 12 or Big 8 teams playing against each other. It is state pride. It is bragging rights. This game will always be fun for the fans. I look back over the years and it doesn’t matter what the records are, the fans look forward to this game. More importantly, the players look forward to this game. I know our players are looking forward to this game.”

Senior Outside Linebacker Mike Rivera

On getting over last week’s loss:

“Last week we didn’t play very well and we have to put it behind us and get ready for the next game. That’s exactly what we are going to do. We aren’t going to think about that game anymore. We are focused on K-State. I can’t wait to get after it in practice and get a good week in.”

On the upcoming game against Kansas State:

“We are focused on what we have to do and that’s all that matters. If we care about what we do on the field and how we play, that will determine how we do in the game.”

On why he is doing better on defense:

“I think for me, it’s because I have been here five years now and I know the defense pretty well. I think studying film is where I’ve gotten my biggest edge this year. It’s something that I have been trying to do a lot; watch a lot of film, try to get prepared and study the opponent as best I can.”

Senior Center Ryan Cantrell

On the upcoming game against Kansas State:

“It’s the next challenge on the schedule and we are going to go out and do what we can to get a win.”

On if the rivalry is a factor in the game:

“I think living in Lawrence as long as I have you can’t help but to get into the rivalry more. I think you also see how the Kansas guys feel about it and I want to win it just a little bit more for them.”

Junior Safety Darrell Stuckey

On if you put more emphasis on a rivalry game:

“I don’t think we put more emphasis on it, I think we approach it as though it is any other game. It does hold its own significance because it is an in-state rivalry and it’s for the Governor’s Cup, so we are going to go out there and play our best football.”

On what makes Kansas State quarterback, Josh Freeman, special:

“It’s his size and his ability to either stay in or escape the pocket and keep his eyes downfield to make plays.”

On if he is worried the image of the team is fading after a few losses:

“Sometimes things don’t go your way and I don’t think it defines or breaks this program at all. I think we are still at a stronger point then where we were five or six years ago, before Coach Mangino got here. I still think this program is going to improve, you can’t have superior seasons every season when you are a growing program.”

Senior Linebacker Joe Mortensen

On the team clearing its minds of the Texas Tech loss:

“I really liked the attitude of the players and the coaches on Sunday. We watched film and we just got outplayed and there is nothing you can say about it. The attitude of the team is just to put it behind us and let’s go play K-State. This is a big rivalry and we are always looking forward to playing them. They are coming to our house and we are just hoping we can go out there and beat them. The attitude of the team is fine, our practice tempo is focused and we are looking forward to trying to get a win.”

On worrying if the program image took a hit after the loss against Texas Tech:

“We definitely wanted to win that game, but we want to win every game. We want to win this week to become bowl eligible and we still have a chance to win the Big 12 North. We are still very optimistic about our chances this year. One game doesn’t make or break you.”

Senior Wide Receiver Dexton Fields

On how the Sunflower Showdown compares to some Texas rivalries:

“I am not sure it is quite as big as the Texas-Oklahoma game, but it is no less important. It is still a rivalry game. The Texas-Oklahoma game is an inter-state rivalry like ours is with Missouri.”

On the numbers the teams in the Big 12 are scoring:

“I’m really proud to be a part of an offense that can spread the ball around and any guy can have a big game. The teams in the Big 12 can really put up points. I can’t really think of a quarterback in the Big 12 that is below average. That is rather unheard of. It is just very uncommon anywhere in the NCAA for all these great quarterbacks to be in one conference. It could be a product of the spread offense, but never the less, they are all good quarterbacks.”

Freshman Cornerback Daymond Patterson

On his transition from wide receiver to cornerback:

“I feel that I can play both positions or just cornerback or just receiver. I am just happy to get back onto the field and try and help the team.”

On his comfort level at cornerback:

“I was pretty comfortable. The coaches didn’t make it too tough on me, the keys that I had to read. They really helped me a lot throughout the week, so I wasn’t too uncomfortable.”

On communicating with the rest of the defense:

“It was pretty hard trying to get the signals. You’re trying to figure out what formation the opponent is in. The biggest thing is just the communication factor. I was just trying to do what I was supposed to do, along with trying to communicate with the other cornerbacks what I was seeing.”

Junior Quarterback Todd Reesing

On the difficulty of taking it a game at a time when you are playing a rival:

“It doesn’t make it harder. It is just another game. Yes it is a big game and a rivalry game, but almost every guy has played against Kansas State or in a big game and we know what to expect. They are going to bring their best game down here and we have to have our best game ready to go. It’s a big game, but you can’t make it bigger than it really is.”

On having a big game looming and trying to put the Texas Tech behind them:

“We are obviously trying to forget about last week as quick as possible and get focused on this Saturday. We have put that behind us, we have learned from it and we are going to move on. We look forward to an exciting game this week.”

On trying to keep pace in the Big 12 North:

“It is big because it is a North team that we are competing against for the North title. When you play against a team that is in the same side as you in the conference it makes the game a little bit bigger. It’s a big game from that perspective, it is a big game because it is K-State, and so this game does have a lot of implications that make it that much more exciting.”